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Newcastle Limited to Conduct Sealed-Bid Offering for Unique Gold Coast Residential Property

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March 25, 2004
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CHICAGO – Newcastle Limited has been retained by Chicago-based JFJ Development Co., to conduct a sealed-bid offering for three luxury condominium units in the completely renovated, turn-of-the-century, four-story La Schola building at 18 East Division Street in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, announced S.L. van der Zanden, Managing Director of the Chicago-based real estate firm. Newcastle Limited is a national real estate advisory and development firm serving not-for-profit organizations, institutions, investors, corporations and governmental agencies.

La Schola, located two blocks west of Lake Michigan, two blocks north of the Magnificent Mile and four blocks south of Lincoln Park, was built in 1899. It housed the prestigious Latin School of Chicago between 1899 and 1926, after which it was redeveloped as rental apartments. The property was subsequently purchased by JFJ Development, which recently completed a major redevelopment project to convert the building into four full-floor, custom-designed residences ranging in size from 2,750 SF to 4,500 SF. One of the units was sold last fall. “We are looking for either one value-added investor for the remaining three-unit package or three private owners who want luxury living in the most prestigious neighborhood in the city,” said van der Zanden.

Newcastle will launch its marketing campaign on Monday, April 5. The deadline for offers is Monday, May 3. The marketing team has prepared a complete offering package and scheduled broker luncheons, cocktail receptions and property tours for interested buyers.

“There are three distinctive features of this offering: the below-cost pricing structure, our quick sealed-bid offering process, and the developer’s delivery guarantee,” said Peter S. Tortorello, Vice President of Newcastle and Project Manager for this disposition. “Suggested ‘minimum’ bids are significantly below current market prices for similar units. The May 3rd bid deadline means that bidders will know shortly after submission where their offers stand rather than enduring the uncertain and protracted negotiations of the traditional sales process. JFJ Development’s contract will provide a guaranteed delivery date for each finished unit,” he said.

“For the first time we’re applying our unique disposition approach to residential buyers. We expect that brokers and their clients will appreciate the high-quality information contained in our offering CD, the streamlined purchase-contract form, and the quick response time the bid deadline provides,” van der Zanden said.

La Schola buyers can work with their own architects or with JFJ Development’s award-winning project architect, Hartshorne + Plunkard Architecture. Each unit offers buyers three bedrooms, 2-1/2 or 3-1/2 baths, a master bedroom suite, entry foyer, formal living room, separate dining room, great room, kitchen, butler’s pantry, home theater, a private terrace that spans the 40-foot width of the home, private-elevator access, and two heated garage-parking spaces. “When the units are finished, buyers will have home environments that combine the history and character of the Gold Coast with the technology and sophistication of contemporary life,” said Tortorello.

Standard appointments at La Schola include ceiling heights of 9’5” to 12’7”; five-inch crown molding in all rooms; seven-and-a-half-foot solid-core interior doors; Brazilian walnut hardwood floors in living areas, hallways and kitchens; and a choice of marble, granite or slate floors in all bathrooms. The living room, great room and master suite feature gas fireplaces.
JFJ Development will include in the sale price high-end selections for kitchen, bath, media room and butler’s pantry cabinetry, lighting fixtures, a California Closet system, home-theater media components, and a GE Smart ConnectionCenter‘ home technology center that can control the computer, HVAC, lighting, audio/video and appliance systems.

“By selling all of the units at one time, buyers can take advantage of the savings accrued by constructing all interiors simultaneously,” van der Zanden said. “The developer can complete the project efficiently and focus his time and resources on three new residential development projects.” These projects include a new $20,000,000 condominium tower at the northwest corner of Clark and Huron Streets; Superior West, a 12-story condominium building in the River North neighborhood; and the Residences at 707 West Barry, a four-story condominium building in the Lakeview neighborhood. “The sealed bid is a win-win situation,” said van der Zanden.

Chicago-based JFJ Development Co. was founded in 1994 to carry on a 60-year family tradition of quality construction and craftsmanship. To learn more, visit the company website at www.jfjdev.com.

Newcastle Limited recently conducted a successful sealed-bid offering for another Gold Coast property, representing the Eleanor Women’s Foundation in the disposition of its 1550 North Dearborn Parkway building to The Latin School of Chicago. Newcastle is currently representing Loyola University Chicago in the development of a 24,800 SF high-rise site within its Water Tower Campus.

About Newcastle Limited

Chicago-based Newcastle Limited is a national commercial real estate firm serving governmental agencies, institutions, not-for-profit organizations, corporations and private investors. The firm’s strategic advisory, development and investment services are designed to reduce project risk and maximize asset value. To learn more about Newcastle, call Mike Haney at (312) 252-1401 or visit the company website at www.newcastlelimited.com.